Estevan's new Public Works manager finds that Estevan is a very busy community with a lot happening.
Bruce Balcom started on July 3. He said he wanted to work for a city after spending five years with the Alberta Parks department, where he was a supervisor for three parks in the southern part of the province, including the renowned Dinosaur Provincial Park.
"I was looking for somewhere that was a step up, and somewhere to end my career," said Balcom. "I thought that this would be the right-sized city, and that I could apply my skills."
The fast-paced growth in Estevan has created a lot of challenges, he said, and there is a need for upgrades. He expects that he will be busy trying to keep pace with Estevan's expanding list of needs.
His public works career started as the foreman in Youngstown, Alberta. He spent a few years there, and then proceeded to work as the foreman in several villages and towns in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Then he shifted to the parks system.
"When you're working in small towns and villages, you have to be the equipment operator and grass cutter," said Balcom. "You have to fix water main breaks and sewers. You pick it all up as you go along."
Prior to beginning his career working in public works for municipalities and parks, Balcom was a chef in the military for four years with the 412 Squadron in Ottawa. The experience took him around the world, and it allowed him to encounter such dignitaries as former prime ministers Joe Clark and Brian Mulroney, and current Canadian Forces chief of defence staff General Walt Natynczyk.
He and his wife also have their health care certificates, and he has some experience working in nursing homes.